Taught course

Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Hebrew and Pre-Modern Jewish History and Culture)

University of Cambridge · Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Entry requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK High II.i Honours Degree.

If your degree is not from the UK, please check International Qualifications to find the equivalent in your country.

Applicants are expected to have an existing level of competence in Hebrew necessary for the taught papers and dissertation research they plan to undertake (usually at least equivalent to two years full-time study of the language).

Those applicants whose native language is not English must have an excellent command of the English language (evidenced by the appropriate English-language test scores). The primary aim of the course is to prepare graduate students for independent academic research.

All prospective MPhil applicants are advised to peruse the staff profiles on our website to familiarise themselves with the research and teaching interests of staff members. Applicants should contact potential supervisors by email and discuss potential MPhil dissertation topics.

Months of entry


Course content

The Hebrew and Pre-Modern History and Culture pathway is designed for highly motivated students who would like to develop their knowledge and understanding of the pre-modern Jewish history and culture of North Africa and the Middle East, with a particular focus on the Cairo Genizah manuscripts, together with the research skills necessary to carry out independent primary research work to a high academic standard through engagement with primary sources in Hebrew or another relevant pre-modern Middle Eastern language. Graduates will be well placed to pursue further research in a PhD programme, to use their skills and knowledge in the heritage sector, in education, or in any other field where cultural understanding, linguistic skills and high level critical thinking, analysis and communication skills are needed.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the MPhil course, students will be able to:

· read, interpret and translate primary sources relevant to their research interests in Hebrew or other Middle Eastern languages;

· show a good understanding of more general scholarship on Middle Eastern Studies;

· show an in-depth knowledge of the secondary literature relevant to the subjects of their coursework and dissertation;

· formulate original research questions on the history and literatures of the Jews of pre-modern North Africa and the Middle East;

· communicate their research findings in the form of an independent piece of research based on the use of primary and secondary sources; and

· use independent archival and library- and internet-based research skills concomitant with successful completion of a Masters-level degree in Hebrew and Pre-Modern History and Culture.

Information for international students

Language Requirement

IELTS (Academic)

Element Score

Listening 7.0

Writing 7.0

Reading 7.0

Speaking 7.0

Total 7.5

TOEFL Internet Score

Element Score

Listening 25

Writing 25

Reading 25

Speaking 25

Total 110

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MPhil
    full time
    11 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details